You'll roll through spruce, fir, beech, and ash to open views at 6,575-foot Mount Buckley and 5,560-foot Jenkins Knob. Then, at 4.5 miles, you'll hit The Narrows, where the ridge squeezes to a few yards wide, for a 0.5-mile tiptoe to 5,607-foot Silers Bald and its views of Fontana Lake and surrounding balds. To make it an overnight, head to Silers Bald Shelter 0.2 mile beyond.
MAP AND GUIDE: Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park ($12, natgeomaps.com); Hiking Trails of the Smokies, by Don DeFoe, ($20, smokiesstore.org)
CONTACT: (865) 436-1200, nps.gov/grsm
-Mapped by Jeff Chow
Trailhead: From Gatlinburg, take US 441 into GSMNP. At mile 14.7, turn right onto Clingmans Dome Rd. and go 6.3 miles to the parking lot (closed from December through March).